planet

NASA explains why the world didn’t end on September 23

NASA explains why the world didn’t end on September 23

People have predicted the end of the world since ancient days, and this past September 23 was no exception. The Internet was alight with a doomsday prediction that billed this past Saturday as a fateful day, one that would result in the fabled planet Nibiru colliding with Earth and killing everyone. Forums were filled with people reporting feeling 'vibes' about the event; psychics said it would happen. But, as expected, the day passed without event.

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See Saturn’s beauty as Cassini crashes into it

See Saturn’s beauty as Cassini crashes into it

A 13-year journey ends this week as Cassini–Huygens crashes into the face of Saturn - and we get to see it all happen. At the end of this journey, NASA is celebrating with an E-Book called "The Saturn System : Through the Eyes of Cassini." This E-Book was made free this week, and from it we've got a few passages and big set of photos to share with you today. These are just a few of the 450,000 photos captured by Cassini on its journey from Earth to Saturn.

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Behold Jupiter’s Great Red Spot courtesy of Juno spacecraft

Behold Jupiter’s Great Red Spot courtesy of Juno spacecraft

They were close enough to have kissed. Considering Juno and Jupiter are wife and husband in the Roman pantheon, that analogy is seemingly appropriate. But if the Juno spacecraft were indeed close enough to kiss, and crash into, Jupiter, it would be like kissing one big red pimple. Juno just completed its seventh close flyby of our solar system’s biggest member and it has brought back some close up pictures of the Great Red Spot, the greatest storm we’ll ever see.

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Pluto could be a planet again, just like our moon

Pluto could be a planet again, just like our moon

Is Pluto a planet or not? Depending the age of whom you ask, and depending they keep up with the latest new, they might answer yes or now. Apparently, it also depends whether you’re asking an astronomer or a planetary scientists. At least that’s the sentiment that NASA scientists, led by New Horizon principal investigator Alan Stern, is giving off in proposing a redefinition of what a planet is, which would re-induct Pluto to the club once again. Curiously enough, it would also add 100 new planets to our solar system alone.

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Scientists discover new dwarf planet beyond Pluto’s orbit

Scientists discover new dwarf planet beyond Pluto’s orbit

Our solar system family is getting larger with the discovery of a new dwarf planet found orbiting beyond Pluto. This new dwarf planet doesn't have a fancy name like the major planets of the solar system, it's called 2014 UZ224 and is about 330-miles across. This little dwarf planet is about 8.5 billion miles away from the sun. Interestingly the dwarf planet is smaller than Pluto's moon Charon, which is about 750 miles in diameter.

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New findings show constantly collapsing atmosphere on Jupiter’s moon Io

New findings show constantly collapsing atmosphere on Jupiter’s moon Io

We'd expect most new discoveries about Jupiter to be coming from the Juno spacecraft, which entered orbit around the planet early last month, but today we're hearing about a fascinating new find that Juno had nothing to do with. Scientists at the Southwest Research Institute have discovered that the atmosphere around Jupiter's moon Io is in a constant state of flux, collapsing and rebuilding once every day.

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There might be another planet at the edge of our solar system

There might be another planet at the edge of our solar system

If you thought that Pluto was the gatekeeper of the outer edge of our solar system, your knowledge might need a massive update. Aside from comets that routinely orbit, and sometimes get too close, to our sun, there are a whole host of space objects beyond the little minor planet. And one of them might even be a planet in its own right. That is the discovery announced by Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institute of Washington last November 10. Simply called V774104, it is considered to be the most distant object in the solar system currently known.

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English high school student discovers exoplanet

English high school student discovers exoplanet

Discovering a new planet is something that many astronomers dream of and at the ripe age of 15-years-old, an English high school student named Tom Wagg has done just that. Wagg has discovered a gas-giant exoplanet that he first came across two years ago while he was doing a work-experience study at Keele University in England. Additional observations of the planet have now been made and the existence of the planet has been confirmed.

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Jupiter believed to have destroyed v1.0 of our solar system

Jupiter believed to have destroyed v1.0 of our solar system

You know something — Jupiter is huge. Like, really big. Turns out, it might be a bully, too. Like something out of The Matrix, two scientists now believe Jupiter actually destroyed version 1.0 of our solar system. Giving in to the Sun’s pull, Jupiter is believed to have come in and just obliterated other planets in our earlier solar system. The scientists point to strange quirks within our solar system as reason for their belief Jupiter was a cue-ball for an earlier version of our planetary scheme, and it makes quite a bit of sense!

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This glorious celestial nursery is packed with baby stars

This glorious celestial nursery is packed with baby stars

The European Southern Observatory has taken the most detailed image yet of the southern constellation of Ara, otherwise known as The Altar, using the VLT Survey Telescope. The image was taken at the ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile, and in it we get an incredible look at clusters of stars, regions forming stars, emission nebulae, and more. This particular sliver of space is located about 4,000 light years from our own planet. We've a link to the high-resolution version after the jump!

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Super-Earth Gliese 581d might have been dismissed too soon

Super-Earth Gliese 581d might have been dismissed too soon

Scientists around the world are searching the universe for Earth-like planets that orbit parent stars in the so-called Goldilocks zone where the temperatures are just right for liquid water and life as we know it. One such planet that was discovered back in 2009 is known as Gliese 581d. When the exo-planet was first discovered scientists thought it had a rocky surface and the potential for liquid water.

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New Horizons spacecraft wakes up to greet Pluto next year

New Horizons spacecraft wakes up to greet Pluto next year

It may be routine procedure, having been performed many times before, but it is symbolically one giant leap for mankind, particularly space exploration. Waking up to Russell Watson's "Where My Heart Will Take Me", long associated with space exploration and even Star Trek, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft became fully activated in preparation for its meetup with the smallest and farthest "former" member of our solar system, Pluto. It marks the near culmination of a journey that has so far lasted nearly nine years and three billion miles, the farthest any space mission has traveled to reach its target.

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